I always miss the two seasons that I think I would really enjoy if I purposefully set out to embrace them: Advent and Lent. Since I was raised in a protestant church, we didn't really celebrate these seasons. But as I've gotten older, I've learned more and more about them and the beautiful intention behind them.
So today I was thankful to see a post about it being Ash Wednesday. I had completely forgotten.
I frantically found a study to start, and it felt SO GOOD to finally start it on time, albeit in a frenzy.
Once I finished the first day of the study, I realized I hadn't decided on anything to give up for Lent, and I really wanted to immerse myself fully in the days leading up to Easter. I've felt a burden to take an extended step away from social media for months now, but I kept finding excuses not to do it. So today, on the high from my Lent study and in a moment of passion and good intentions, I decided to commit.
A mere twelve hours later I miss Instagram like an old friend, and as uncomfortable as I feel, that discomfort fully affirms me that I needed this break. Here a few goals I have for this fast:
1. To selfishly treasure the tiny joys I find in my day with Amelia and Logan.
It's no secret I love to share how I'm feeling or the things I'm observing regarding motherhood and otherwise. But to see Amelia's tiny bare feet with a cape draped down her back and her big ole belly hanging out - and to NOT share it - but rather to treasure it? That's hard for someone like me, but also SO rewarding. I truly share out of a deep longing to connect with those around me, but sometimes I wonder if subconsciously I am trying to prove something. So maybe for a few weeks I silence the need to share - not that it's a bad need - and just treasure these moments for myself. Maybe I take this time to be selfish with my joy instead of opening it up to be liked and commented on. [Sidenote: My mom was VERY distressed at my decision to give up social media for Lent. So I promised to send more photos to her, so maybe some close friends and family will be treasuring with me as well. ;)]
2. Write more.
I love to write. I don't love to talk about how I love to write, because I think that will bring a harsher eye to my writing, but here I am confessing that it is one of my great joys. I think by writing snippets of my heart here and there on social media, I take the edge off that hunger... but never fully eat a full meal. I have had "write more" as a personal goal of mine for YEARS (literally, years) and I have never actually done that. I hope to document the moments I feel the need to freeze in time, like I would normally do on Instagram, in written form for my own pleasure. I'm really excited about this.
3. Make room for God to speak.
I am the textbook mom who spends WAY too much time staring at her phone scrolling mindlessly through photos just to escape for a couple minutes. I "don't have time" for quiet time, yet somehow I find the time to see what EVERYONE ELSE is doing/selling/saying practically every hour. In the one week I took away from Instagram last spring, I heard the Lord speak more to me than I had in MONTHS. And months since then! I may not hear anything ground breaking, but regardless, I plan to use some of the time that I'll get back to just connect or pray or read or listen. I think the Lord has been putting this desire in my heart for awhile, and I'm excited to finally be stepping into it. I am excited to be able to hear my thoughts alone in the silence instead of pairing them against everyone else's.
With this, I can already feel the struggle setting in. Some challenges I anticipate encountering are:
1. How will I market my business? (I don't do a lot of this anyway, but what if I need to?)
2. Finding other ways to combat loneliness or feeling isolated. Play dates are a lot more of a logistical challenge than sitting on my couch scrolling through Instagram. I hope I get off my butt and make them happen rather than just sinking into a lonely hole until Easter.
3. How will I satisfy my love of story telling and sharing? I truly share from a place of joy and conviction, as well as to document my life for my own sentimental purposes. While I do think I need to discriminate more about what I share and what I keep for my own private joy, I don't want to squash my love of shared conversation. I hope I can find outlets, even as simple as texting my mom or friend, to share in other ways.
4. Feeling out of the loop or behind on things. These days, if you aren't on Facebook or Instagram you may go weeks before knowing someone is expecting or just got engaged. I'm going to try not to be bitter if I'm the last to find things out. :)
I'm nervous and excited for this season of silence and reflection. I wish I could share this post just so people could ask me how I'm doing - but that's what I get for letting Lent sneak up on me. ;) I think it's going to be sanctifying to make my life just a little more quiet. I can't wait to see how God shows up in the extra space. <3